CNB Financial (NASDAQ:CCNE) shareholders have endured a 2.3% loss from investing in the stock three years ago

In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it’s worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But its virtually certain that sometimes you will buy stocks that fall short of the market average returns. Unfortunately, that’s been the case for longer term CNB Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:CCNE) shareholders, since the share price is down 10% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 36%. On the other hand the share price has bounced 6.5% over the last week. We would posit that the recently released financial results have driven this rise, so you might want to check the latest numbers in our full company report.

With that in mind, it’s worth seeing if the company’s underlying fundamentals have been the driver of long term performance, or if there are some discrepancies.

View our latest analysis for CNB Financial

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.

Although the share price is down over three years, CNB Financial actually managed to grow EPS by 11% per year in that time. Given the share price reaction, one might suspect that EPS is not a good guide to the business performance during the period (perhaps due to a one-off loss or gain). Or else the company was over-hyped in the past, and so its growth has disappointed.

We’re actually a quite surprised to see the share price down while EPS have grown strongly. So we’ll have to take a look at other metrics to try to understand the price action.

We note that, in three years, revenue has actually grown at a 16% annual rate, so that doesn’t seem to be a reason to sell shares. This analysis is just perfunctory, but it might be worth researching CNB Financial more closely, as sometimes stocks fall unfairly. This could present an opportunity.

The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-and-revenue-growth

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. It’s fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for CNB Financial the TSR over the last 3 years was -2.3%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. And there’s no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

It’s good to see that CNB Financial has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 12% in the last twelve months. Of course, that includes the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 2%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.

CNB Financial is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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